Yet another finger keybord (gui mock-up).

Josef Wolf jw at
Sun Aug 26 10:57:10 CEST 2007

[ I warm-up this old thread again... ]

On Mon, Mar 05, 2007 at 12:02:31AM +0200, Lars Hallberg wrote:
> a mock-up on a 90-key by one stroke finger keyboard. Think this might be 
> an usable and pretty efficient input method.

This looks very promising.  I like this idea.  The only issue I see is that
the least used characters (numbers) are the easiest to enter.  IMHO, the
mostly used characters should be accessible without dragging.  

Please check

for a list of mostly used letters in german.  In english, the frequency
is similar, but unfortunately I can't find the table right now.  I remember
I have seen the english table as I was searching for information about
dvorak keyboards on wikipedia, but I can't find it anymore.

I suggest to add a second layout, and use one of the unused drag
positions to switch between your original "phone layout" and a second
"text layout".  We could even have a third "programmer layout" or something.

When the nine mostly used characters (e,n,i,s,r,a,t,d,h) are put in the
middle of the buttons, 71% of all keystrokes would be done without dragging.

When the 15 mostly used characters (e,n,i,s,r,a,t,d,h,u,l,c,g,m,o) are put
in the middle, 90% of all keystrokes would be done without dragging.

Unfortunately, the table don't contain special characters.  I suggest to
put at least the space onto a main position.

This mail, up to (and including) this paragraph, has this frequency:

pos char   cnt   %    cum%
 1  SPACE: 224 14.79 14.79
 2  e:     131  8.65 23.43
 3  t:     107  7.06 30.50
 4  a:      85  5.61 36.11
 5  o:      78  5.15 41.25
 6  n:      75  4.95 46.20
 7  i:      73  4.82 51.02
 8  s:      73  4.82 55.84
 9  r:      61  4.03 59.87
10  h:      56  3.70 63.56
11  u:      45  2.97 66.53
12  d:      44  2.90 69.44
13  l:      42  2.77 72.21
14  c:      33  2.18 74.39
15  CR:     33  2.18 76.57

>From this table, we can see two tings:
1. space most definitely needs to be on a main position
2. while the order is different, eight of the nine characters mentioned
   above are on the first nine positions in the table.

BTW: Vi users would probably like to have the colon on a main position.
Emacs users would probably like ESC and CRTL-X on a main position, so I
guess having it configurable would be the best.


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